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To find a cavalry battlefield… on the back roads of Frederick County, pt 3

Alright… so where is the portion of the battlefield, of November 12, 1864, where the 7th Virginia saw their heaviest fighting of the day? As I mentioned yesterday… after coming to the aid of the 11th Virginia Cavalry, on the south bank of Cedar Creek, the 7th and the 12th moved to Middle Road to […]

Henry Ruffner’s Ghost Story (“A Screech”)

A Screech Amongst the earliest settlers in the Kanawha valley was george Alderson, who had been a man of the woods from his youth. Though not much of a scholar, yet he could read, write, and cast up accounts, which, altogether was more than the majority of his sylvan contemporaries could do. He was a […]

One narrow vision… followed by a more remarkable set of 19th century observations by Brantz Mayer

I read, somewhere recently, about how someone holds such low regard for Harper’s Ferry… because… as this person sees things… the site interprets John Brown as a hero. It’s actually odd, but John Brown only crosses my mind a couple of times when I visit (which, as regular readers know, is often) Harper’s Ferry, and when he […]

John Trumbull: “this weird urchin”

Last week I shared a portrait of John Trumbull (1750-1831), the author of M’Fingal and Connecticut jurist. He was a child prodigy, according to the biographical introduction to the 1820 collection of his work (which he apparently wrote...Show More Summary

“America Is Not the Greatest Country in the World”

A couple weeks ago this short clip from the HBO series, “The Newsroom”, was posted by a couple of my Facebook friends. I’ve never seen the show so I don’t know much of anything about the storyline beyond the obvious. The topic of American Exceptionalism has come up on this blog before and it always […]

“Every 3.6 Minutes”

I’ve always struggled with the way I teach the history of slavery to high school students. Pushing my students toward what I hope is a meaningful overview of slavery’s evolution and eventual demise inevitably overshadows change over time, regional differences, and even runs the risk of minimizing the horror of slavery itself. This last category […]

Looking For Conflict Along Sherman’s March

I’ve said it before. Mainstream media can’t help but report a Civil War related story without resorting to the popular meme of an “unfinished war.” Americans are supposedly still fighting the war. This afternoon I caught this interview with Professor James Cobb of the University of Georgia, who discussed the history and especially the legacy […]

The Re-Construction of Sherman’s March

This is as solid an essay as you will find on the history and legacy of Sherman’s March. And yet there is something missing in this story. The destruction caused by Sherman’s army almost always eclipses the rebuilding that took place immediately following the war. In his excellent book, The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil […]

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 11/17

Congratulations to fellow blogger and historian, Keith Harris, on the publication of his new book. It’s always nice to see hard work rewarded and I hope Keith is enjoying that feeling of holding a new hardcover book. I’ve made my way through the first chapter and can’t recommend it enough. Keith’s work fits neatly into […]

How High Schools Can Talk About the Confederate Flag

It seems like you can’t go a week without reading a story about a student who has decided to bring a Confederate flag to school or wear clothing with the symbol prominently displayed. Over the past few years the number of reported stories has increased in frequency. More interesting, these incidents have spread well beyond […]

The History of Sherman’s March is Finally Becoming History

Yesterday the New York Times published a piece by Alan Blinder on Southern memory of Sherman’s March and the new marker commemorating its 150th anniversary. The article pretty much raises the same questions about our Civil War memory in the South as other events during the sesquicentennial. The theme of the article is struggle. White […]

“32 of which years he dressed as a woman”

From the 6 August 1764 Boston Evening-Post:We hear from the Vineyard, that one Deborah Lewis, of that Place, about 32 Years of Age, who, till within a few Days since, constantly appeared in the Female Dress, and was always supposed to...Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: "Another Season of Quiet Fell On The Troops:" October-November 1864

There is surprisingly little written or known about the actions of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Fall of 1864 and Winter of 1864-1865, and perhaps this is because the regiment was largely inactive during this period. There...Show More Summary

Plumb Crazy

Constabulary notes from the Old Bailey Online, 10 Oct 1733 in London:John Sherman was indicted for the Murder of John Wiggans, by striking him on the left side of the Head with a Cane, by which he fell to the Ground, and by that Fall received one mortal Wound and Bruise on the Fore part of his Head, Sept. Show More Summary

Inoculation Lecture in Weymouth, 19 Nov.

On Wednesday, 19 November, the Abigail Adams Historical Society in Weymouth will present a program on “The History of Inoculation and Vaccination: The Experience of the Adams Family and the Modern Perspective.”David Jones, M.D., Ph.D., the A. Show More Summary

Talk on Belinda at Royall House in Medford, 19 Nov.

On Wednesday, 19 November, the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford will host an illustrated talk by Richard Douglass-Chin titled “‘And she will ever pray’: Finding Belinda Royall.”Belinda was a woman born in the 1710s in Africa and held enslaved on Isaac Royall’s estate. Show More Summary

View from Somewhere in the Bronx

Yesterday John U. Rees called my attention to this article by Matthew Skic, currently a student in the Winterthur museum’s Program in Early American Material Culture.Winterthur’s collection includes the watercolor sketch shown above, made by Capt. Show More Summary

A Painting of John Trumbull

It’s been noted that the phrase “a painting of Winston Churchill” can refer to a painting of the British Prime Minister, a painting by the British Prime Minister, or even a painting owned by that British Prime Minister. This is a portrait...Show More Summary

To find a cavalry battlefield… on the back roads of Frederick County, part 2

Continuing in my effort to figure out the site of the cavalry fight of November 12, I turned again to Pennington’s report… knowing he had provided estimated distances from Mount Zion to Cedar Creek, and beyond Lebanon Church. Pennington wrote: I moved out with the whole brigade and attacked the enemy… succeeded in driving him […]

Nathaniel Gould Furniture Exhibit in Salem, Starting 15 Nov.

On 15 November, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem opens a new exhibit called “In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould.” The museum explains:At the dawn of the American Revolution in a city bustling with trade, politics...Show More Summary

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